Swimming Pool Sickness
The bug is Cryptosporidium (Crypto for short), an organism that can cause outbreaks of diarrhea lasting up to three weeks. You (or your kids) can get infected by swallowing water from contaminated pools, lakes and rivers, the CDC warns. The bugs can survive even in chlorinated water for up to 10 days or more. The CDC reports that in the U.S. from 2009 to 2017 there were nearly 450 outbreaks of crypto, which led to 7,465 illnesses. Day care centers are another common source of infections. Here the parasite can be spread by infected youngsters who contaminate surfaces. Raw milk, and raw apple cider have also been linked to outbreaks. In addition to not swallowing water while swimming, the CDC advises against swimming if you (or your kids) have diarrhea. It also recommends avoiding swimming for at least two weeks after the symptoms resolve. Other precautions: wash your hands frequently, and especially after using the toilet, changing diapers, caring for someone with diarrhea or handling animals.
Radhika Gharpure et al, “Cryptosporidiosis Outbreaks: 2009-2017, U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, June 28, 2019, cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6825a3.htm?s_cid=mm6825a3_w
More from this week’s bulletin:
- Poor Sleep Can Prevent Weight Loss
- Toxic Chemicals in Beer, Wine Bottles
- A Tasty Potluck Recipe Idea: Broccoli Pasta